Rowan's Gephardt receives Advancement of Women Award

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Rowan University associate professor of chemical engineering Dr. Zenaida Otero Gephardt recently received the YWCA Delaware Advancement of Women Award.

Rowan University associate professor of chemical engineering Dr. Zenaida Otero Gephardt recently received the YWCA Delaware Advancement of Women Award.

YWCA Delaware, according to its website, is dedicated to eliminating racism and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The organization recognized Gephardt for her commitment to empowering women and providing equal opportunity for women and girls in education.

“I am humbled and inspired by the volunteers, staff and clients of the YWCA,” Gephardt said. “The YWCA is an organization devoted to helping people like me to dream, achieve our potential and contribute to our communities.”

Before joining academia, Gephardt worked as a research engineer at DuPont in Wilmington, Del. She recently taught at the Universidad de La Serena and La Universidad Católica del Norte Sede Coquimbo, both in Chile, as a visiting professor. Gephardt also has held several leadership positions that have helped her create opportunities for women, including serving as president of the Delaware chapter of the National Organization for Women, president of Girls Inc. of Delaware, member of the Delaware Governor’s Public Integrity Commission and president of the Delaware Valley section of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

A member of the Rowan University faculty since 1985, Gephardt served as director of the engineering program and then coordinated the establishment of the University’s College of Engineering. She also served as the College’s assistant dean.

A registered professional engineer in Delaware and a Wilmington resident, Gephardt received her B.S. in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and both her M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware.

YWCA Delaware will honor Gephardt, along with five other women, including DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman and Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. senior attorney Laura Graham, at an awards luncheon on Wednesday, March 20 at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington.

“The purpose of these awards is to honor extraordinary women who break new ground, are committed to actively pursuing opportunities to make a difference in the world, are champions in eliminating barriers for all people, actively serve as mentors, and encourage others to reach their full potential,” said YWCA Delaware CEO Ginny Marino.

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About YWCA Delaware

Established since 1895, YWCA Delaware is a leader in empowering women, men and their families in embracing their full potential. Serving more than 6,000 individuals throughout the state of Delaware in 2012, YWCA Delaware’s mission is to promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. For more information about YWCA Delaware and the 2013 Awards Luncheon, please visit www.ywcade.org.

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